Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lifetime Movieness: A Crime of Passion

Menstrual cycles are not something that I talk about a whole lot. Well, ok, none. Ladies at my work--well, that's a different story. They will tell you just about anything that you could ever even conceive of asking about their monthly friends, no matter how gross or strange or odd. And of course, I just stand in the corner of the office bathroom, like the kid at camp whose boobs haven't come in yet, and hope that they do not notice that I'm not contributing to the conversation at all.

However, I will tell you that every month or so, I become the biggest stereotypical girly girl that has ever been spawned. Not that I'm some big genderless blob the rest of the time (I think you know that since I spend a good deal of time being all OMG LIPGLOSS!), but during this short time period (usually 1-2 days), I'm a big oozing well of estrogen. Got a romantic comedy starring Katherine Heigl you've been dying to see? LET'S GO. I will not make one snarky comment, and we can do an over/under on whether I will cry or not. Want to eat an entire Vermonster and talk about how fat we are? AWESOME. I've got my lucky spoon! Want to sit on the couch and watch an entire season of Grey's Anatomy/Sex and the City? SURE. Yeah, I've watched about two of each of those shows in my life, and yes, my eyes hurt from all the rolling, but on that day, I will do it, and once again, I'll probably cry. Or hulk smash something. But that's just the estrogen talking!

This happened to me last night. I found myself footloose and fancy free at 8:00, as Alice had passed out because she didn't take a nap earlier in the day, Sam and Matt were playing a rather animated game of Risk, and Gabby was in her room plotting sixth grade domination. And I'm sitting on the couch, thinking about how much I would enjoy a plate of brownies topped with a full pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and wearing a leopard print snuggie and a pair of cropped yoga pants from Old Navy. I'm getting ready to turn on the Cardinals/Giants game when I think, "You know, I would much rather watch this Lifetime movie on LMN called 'A Crime of Passion' starring none other than Tracey Gold." And so that's what I did.

Now, I may have seen bits and pieces of A Crime of Passion before, or it could be because A Crime of Passion is a big ole stereotype of a Lifetime movie in itself. Basically, here's the plot: Widowed doctor meets stripper with a heart of gold (heretofore known as SWAHOG). Widowed doctor's daughter, a failing pre-med student (Tracey Gold) does not approve. Widowed doctor marries SWAHOG in Vegas. Widowed doctor realizes strippers do not automatically turn into Lil' Suzy Housewife the moment someone puts a ring on their (dirty) fingers. Widowed doctor asks for a divorce. Widowed doctor is murdered whilst clutching his coin collection. Daughter (Tracey Gold) is suspected of his murder. BUT YOU KNOW IT WAS THE STRIPPER! My lord in heaven, ya'll! SHE WAS A STRIPPER! Being a stripper at any time in one's life means that your hobbies will always be having abortions, getting your nails done, and KILLING DOCTORS. No matter what element your heart is made of.

Now, the plot is pretty stupid, I'll give you that. But there are a couple of things that make this movie totally fucking awesome. First is this: let's imagine for a bit that you are a 50 year old man. A red-blooded American 50 year old man, not some foppish dandy who spends his time following Kate Middleton's sartorial choices and eating vegetables. You're laying in your big old four poster bed, reading at night. And your new bride, who worked a pole for 10 years, so you know, has some moves, comes out in the black meshy thing and starts gyrating on a bed pole. Something tells me you'd put down the book and enjoy the show for a bit and probably do some things that are illegal in the state of VA. You know? I mean, you're the guy that married the STRIPPER. Might as well reap the benefits of that choice. But not this guy. He sits there and has the AUDACITY to look exasperated. Like, "WTF, YO? You're the woman I married, not someone who I want to have sex with?!?! Now go put in a casserole, darn my socks and make yourself useful."

That's when I knew that when he died, I wouldn't be a bit sad.

And he does. SWAHOG is (rightfully) embarassed by the whole ignoring the sexy dance event, and runs back off to the strip club where she erases her sorrow by making out in the parking lot with her golf instructor. IT'S ALWAYS THE GOLF INSTRUCTOR, AMIRITE? And OF COURSE one of Mr. This-Book-of-Tax-Codes-is-Way-More-Interesting-Than-Blow-Jobs's country club crones just happens to be driving by at that moment (probably because he got lost on the way back from the Stereotypical Old White Man Emporium) and reports her, so SWAHOG is given the boot. Thus the whole shit tornado that eventually ends in murder is birthed.

And all he would have had to do to avoid this is to watch his sexy wife do a striptease. THE HORROR.

The other awesomely awesome thing about this movie is the fashion. Holy high waisted jeans, Batman!!! But more importantly, rather, the way fashion is used to show that whole Madonna/Whore dichotomy that we women, try as we might, can never fully extricate ourselves from. Tracey Gold is a 1st year med student in the movie, and her wardrobe consists of marled sweaters, sensible shoes, and these godawful highwaisted, wide leg, stonewashed jeans that I'm pretty sure were marketed only to fathers as the poor man's chastity belt. Holy lord. They were horrible. And Tracey is a perfectly lovely girl--there was no need for that. By the same token, SWAHOG is given a wardrobe, and I'm pretty sure the wardrobe person took one look at it and goes, "Well, she's a stripper, so let's uh...just cut about 2 inches off of every hem! For authenticity!!!" As she continues down her path of destruction, it just gets worse and worse. By the end of the movie, she's basically just wearing a corset with a lacy bra sticking out of the top in every scene. Going to the DMV? I used to be a stripper, ya'll!!! Funeral? BOOBS AHOY. Career day? Did you forget what I used to do for a living? Here's a nipple to remind you.

So on the scale of Lifetime movies, 1 being those horrible inspirational schlock fests they show at Christmas and always feature a sad-eyed child with dirt on its face, and 5 being The Two Mr. Kissels, this is a solid 3.5 or 4. Watch and be amazed the next time your estrogen is soaring.


  1. Wow. So many points to make...

    1) YOU missed the Cards-Giants game for a LIFETIME movie?! Lifetime cheese over BASEBALL?! Craziness, I tell ya! That damn estrogen! Bwahahaha.

    2) I hadn't seen this particular LM, so I had to IMDb it. Powers Booth was the doctor dude? Sweet!

    3) Tracey Gold, bless her heart, has apparently eclipsed, like, Meredith Baxter and Jaclyn Smith and even her TV ma Joanna Kerns as THE TV movie queen. Damn near EVERY entry on her IMDb page is "(TV Movie)". Hee.

    4) Did you end up having the brownies and B&J?

    5) I always want my LM recaps from you. Can you, like, quit your job and just review them all the time? I almost had coffee coming out of my nose. Well-done.

  2. 1) I KNOW. I watched it the night before and watched Sergio Romo get lit the eff up, so I went to bed with a smile on my face. ICK on Romo and Wilson, and well the whole of the GNATS. I thought of you as I was watching!
    2) Yes, Powers Booth. Love his name. Watched a movie yesterday with Treat Williams and thought that he and Powers should do a LMN buddy comedy called Powers Treat. I would so watch that.
    3) God bless Tracey Gold. I forgot to add this, but her real-life sister played the annoying teenage sister in CoP. That was a real treat.
    4) Unfortunately no. I had several large spoonfuls of cream cheese icing that was just sitting in my fridge, still in the mixer bowl!
    5) My God, that is my dream job.